Ferguson missed deadlines in Justice deal
FERGUSON, Mo. — Ferguson officials have missed critical deadlines in the early stages of an agreement with the Justice Department, but the manager of the beleaguered Missouri city said the process is now moving “in the right direction.”
Clark Ervin, a Washington lawyer monitoring the consent decree involving the St. Louis suburb that has been under Justice Department scrutiny since the fatal 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown, told The Associated Press this week that Ferguson has missed some 120- and 180-day deadlines in crafting new policies and procedures on basic policing practices.
The missed deadlines underscore the challenges police departments can face complying with the sweeping overhauls mandated by the Justice Department, particularly when the troubles are as deeply-rooted as in Ferguson. The progress in Ferguson will be under particular scrutiny given how the city emerged as a flashpoint in the national debate over race and police use of force, and because of the city’s initial resistance last year to signing a federal agreement that local officials feared would be too costly.
“While a number of deadlines have been missed, and deadlines are important, that does not mean that the city is not working hard both in terms of police reform and court reform,” said Ervin, who is responsible for ensuring the city’s compliance with the agreement.
He said the city was working in “good faith” toward meeting the procedures required by the federal government.
“This is difficult work,” Ervin said. “Needless to say, there’s a lot to be done, but progress is being made.”
City Manager De’Carlon Seewood acknowledged that U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry, at a status hearing last month, felt the city was behind.